Saturday 24th February
A double from Murray Davidson saw Saints defeat ten-man Ross County 2-0 at McDiarmid Park this afternoon.
Saints took the lead on 29 minutes when Davidson drilled the ball home after being setup by Steven MacLean.
Davidson then got his and Saints second of the game on 40 minutes as his powerful shot was too much for County keeper Scott Fox who, despite getting a hand to it, couldn’t keep it out.
After dominating much of the first half Saints continued to do this during the second half however, they couldn’t add to their lead.
Then late on County’s Craig Curran was sent off after picking up a second yellow card for pushing Steven MacLean.
Today’s result sees Saints move back up to 8th place in the Ladbrokes Premiership.
Tommy Wright’s team looked to use last Sunday’s performance at Celtic Park as a boost for this afternoon’s clash with Ross County at McDiarmid Park. Saints made 2 changes to the team who held Celtic to a draw, bringing in Scott Tanser and Chris Kane for the injured Richard Foster and George Williams who dropped to the bench.
Ross County got the game underway however, the opening to the match saw both teams cancel each other out.
On 24 minutes County player David N’Gog managed to latch onto the ball after a missed place pass my Steven Anderson and looked to go through on goal but Anderson flew in with a fantastic tackle to take it away from the Frenchman and keep it goalless.
Saints were enjoying the better territorial advantage and on 29 minutes Murray Davidson finished a great move from Saints to put the Perth men 1-0 up. Scott Tanser put in a great cross from the left-hand side which found Steven MacLean who headed it into the path of Davidson who finished neatly in the bottom left hand corner.
Saints continued to press and Chris Kane managed to get behind Liam Fontaine as the defender misjudged the ball but Kane’s effort went high over the bar.
5 minutes before half time Murray Davidson was the hero again as he got his second of the afternoon. Muzz reacted well to Kane's blocked effort falling to him outside the box and unleashed a powerful strike from 20 yards which County keeper Scott Fox got a touch on but it wasn’t enough to keep it out as Saints grabbed a crucial second goal.
Then County defender Marcus Fraser almost gave Saints a three goal advantage when his attempted clearance from a David Wotherspoon cross rattled off the bar and back into the danger area but County cleared their lines and it stayed 2-0.
Saints got the second half underway and they started where they left off with a high-pressing game limiting the Staggies to little opportunities in front of goal.
Ross County made a double change 10 minutes into the second half, but they failed to yield the desired effect as Saints continued to control the game.
With just over 5 minutes remaining County were reduced to ten men as Craig Curran was shown a second yellow after shoving MacLean in an off the ball incident right in front of the dugouts. MacLean was also shown a yellow card for his involvement.
With 2 minutes to go Davis Keillor-Dunn’s effort was tipped over the post by Alan Mannus and the resulting corner was eventually gathered by the Northern Irishman.
Then as the match entered stoppage time Saints’ late pressure almost paid off as Denny Johnstone was played in on goal but his shot was blocked by the County defence.
Saints then got another opportunity to further extend their lead as a miss placed header from Harry Souttar was almost capitalised on by Liam Craig but the angle was too tight for him and the substitutes effort hit the side netting.
Saints collect the 3 points after a poor run of home form with an impressive performance at McDiarmid Park and climb up to 8th place in the table.
Saints: Mannus, Tanser, Alston, Shaughnessy, Anderson, Millar (McClean 88), Davidson, MacLean, Wotherspoon (Craig 83), Kerr, Kane (Johnstone 78)
Unused Substitutes: Clark (GK), Williams, Comrie, Gordon
Booked: Davidson, Kane, MacLean
Scorers: Davidson (29, 40)
Ross County: Fox, Fraser, Naismith, Routis, Souttar, Schalk, N’Gog (Curran 55), Tansey (Käit 55), O’Brien (Dow 65), Fontaine, Keillor-Dunn
Unused Substitutes: McCarey, Chow, McKay, Melbourne
Sent Off: Curran
Referee: Willie Collum
Match report by Hannah Klatschak
Picture: Murray Davidson scores his second of the afternoon
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